August 29, 2016
Last week, we polled our Facebook audience on what they were most looking forward to about this year’s Festival… Is it any surprise that food was at the top of the list?
And there’s a reason. From pie to perogies, to watermelon & rollkuchen, to farmer’s sausage on a bun, the Festival’s food area is bursting with delicious sights, smells and tastes. Caroline Doerksen, MCC Festival Food Coordinator for the last 5 years, gave me the low-down on what you can find each booth:
Vereniki: By far the most popular item at the festival, these cottage cheese perogies are smothered in a cream gravy and served with a side of barbecued Rempel’s farmer sausage. Be prepared to stand in line, but we won’t be the first to tell you it’s worth it!
Farmer Sausage on a Bun: The famous Rempel’s farmer sausage, barbecued and served on a freshly baked bun.
Borscht: Who doesn’t love a steaming bowl of homemade borscht!? It’s a Mennonite classic: beef, chicken and potatoes in a cabbage soup, served with a fresh bun.
Pork Roast BBQ Dinner: It’s the full meal deal, served with a baked potato, roasted vegetables and applesauce.
Samosas & Indian fare: Mennonite food is more than just German food – there are Mennonites all around the world! At this booth you’ll find samosas and butter chicken among other delicacies.
Egg Rolls: Handmade by our friends at the Western Hmong Mennonite Church.
Sushi: Authentic rolls from the Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship.
Bison Burgers: Seared to perfection and served on a fresh bun with all the fixin’s. *SEE NOTE BELOW!*
Chicken Nuggets & Fries: Fried to a crispy perfection.
Pizza: For the not so adventurous…
Watermelon & Rollkuchen: The ultimate Mennonite summer meal. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside deep fried pastry with slices of juicy watermelon. Are you drooling yet?
Pluma Moos: A traditional Mennonite festive fruit soup served cold. Trust us, it’s way better than it sounds!
Portzelky/Ollie Bollen/New Year’s Cookies: Call them what you like, they’re deep fried raisin fritters of deliciousness.
Bake Sale: Every treat you can think of, freshly prepared by members of our church community.
Pie and Ice Cream: Last but certainly not least, homemade pie and Birchwood ice cream. Why Birchwood? Because if you’re going to all the trouble of making a pie, you need to top it with the best local ice cream. Ice cream is also available by the cone.
So… you should probably come to the Festival wearing pants with an elastic waistband.
The 200 volunteers who staff these booths are “the unsung heroes of the festival,” Caroline told me. “Every volunteer is needed and we love having them work with us, from the dedicated ones who have been faithfully working for decades to the church youth groups, whose energy is admired.”
We are still in need of a group to take on the Bison Burger booth. Do you know a youth group, community group, or family that would be up for taking this on? Please send an e-mail to Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don’t have a group secured by next week, we’ll have to remove this yummy treat from our menu.
If you’ve never been to the Festival before, this year’s the time to be there! “It’s an adventure you need to experience,” says Caroline. “It’s what us Mennonites live for – food, family, friends, fellowship.”
P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more exciting announcements leading up to the Festival!